Sudan Calls On Security Council to Intervene, Halt GERD 2nd Filling

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam before the second filling phase next July. (Reuters)
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam before the second filling phase next July. (Reuters)
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Sudan Calls On Security Council to Intervene, Halt GERD 2nd Filling

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam before the second filling phase next July. (Reuters)
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam before the second filling phase next July. (Reuters)

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi has considered Ethiopia’s plans to move forward with the second phase of filling its mega-dam on the Blue Nile an “attack” on her country.

She called on the United Nations Security Council to intervene to reach friendly solutions and halt the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) threatening regional peace and security.

In a letter addressed to the media, the FM stressed that Ethiopians have disrespected good neighborliness when they carried out the first filling of the dam reservoir in July 2020.

Addis Ababa’s announcing it would carry out the second filling in the next rainy season is a “flagrant violation of Sudan’s national security and endangers the lives of 20 million Sudanese living downstream of the GERD.”

Mahdi attached to the letter a study presented to the international community and the region, in which she outlined Sudan’s firm position on the GERD project.

She further slammed Ethiopia’s unilateral steps taken in this regard and without reaching any legally binding agreement with relevant countries.

According to the text study, Khartoum informed the Security Council about the developments in the African Union-sponsored negotiations with Addis Ababa.

It highlighted Addis Ababa’s insistence to proceed with the second filling unilaterally, which was deepening the crisis and preventing disputed parties from reaching amicable solutions.

Mahdi urged the Security Council to support Sudan and Egypt’s efforts to expand negotiations on GERD’s filling and operation, return to the round table as soon as possible and reach a comprehensive and final agreement.

The Foreign Ministry called on Ethiopia to recognize Sudan’s rights and ensure that its unilateral steps do not affect the Sudanese people.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted on Sunday that the second filling of the mega-dam will go ahead as scheduled in July/August, noting that this step will prevent floods in neighboring Sudan.

Cairo and Khartoum reject Addis Ababa’s unilateral second filling of the dam before reaching a binding agreement.

The latest round of talks between the three countries in Kinshasa ended with no progress reached.

Cairo and Khartoum have earlier proposed to include the European Union, United States, and United Nations in the negotiations, in an addition to current African Union mediators. However, the proposal was rejected by Addis Ababa.



White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
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White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Saturday that mediators for Qatar and Egypt plan to engage Hamas militants soon to see if there is a way to push ahead with a Gaza ceasefire proposal offered by US President Joe Biden.

Sullivan spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a Ukraine peace summit and was asked about diplomatic efforts to get an agreement for Hamas to release some hostages held since Oct. 7 in exchange for a ceasefire lasting at least six weeks.

Sullivan said he had spoken briefly to one of the main interlocutors, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and that they would speak again about Gaza on Sunday while both are in Switzerland for the Ukraine conference, Reuters reported.

Hamas has welcomed the ceasefire proposal, but insists any agreement must secure an end to the war, a demand Israel still rejects. Israel described Hamas's response to the new US peace proposal as total rejection.

Sullivan said that US officials have taken a close look at Hamas's response.

"We think some of the edits are not unexpected and can be managed. Some of them are inconsistent both with what President Biden laid out and what the UN Security Council endorsed. And we are having to deal with that reality," he said.

He said US officials believe there remains an avenue to an agreement and that the next step will be for Qatari and Egyptian mediators to talk to Hamas and "go through what can be worked with and what really can’t be worked with."

"We anticipate a back-and-forth between the mediators and Hamas. We’ll see where we stand at that point. We will keep consulting with the Israelis and then hopefully at some point next week we’ll be able to report to you where we think things stand and what we see as being the next step to try to bring this to closure," he said.